What do Broadcast Technicians Do?
Whether for radio or television programs, broadcast technicians control the quality of video and sound that is being transmitted. Broadcast technicians are required to control the volume of all programs and commercials and determine quality. All electronic equipment, including broadcast transmitters, must be operated and maintained by these technicians.
Broadcast Technicians Skills and Abilities
Broadcast technicians are required to have the skills necessary to handle computers, computerized systems, and other electronic devices used in telecommunication. In this position, critical thinking and active listening skills are a must as you quickly solve problems that arise during broadcasts. Communication is key in maintaining order, giving directions to others, and building a cooperative work place. You must also be able to prioritize duties.
Broadcast Technicians Duties
As a broadcast technician, you come between the viewer and the program to provide the best quality audio and video. This means that you are responsible for the equipment that allows you to control broadcast quality. Installation, repairing, replacing and maintaining falls on your shoulders. Here are some other important duties you are tasked with as a broadcast technician:
- Create and edit recordings of audio and video programming.
- Schedule or follow a pre-made schedule and air radio or television shows during correct time slots.
- Record broadcasted programs.
- Control video settings, such as lighting and contrast.
- In emergency situations, fix equipment until repairs can be made.
- Observe incoming and outgoing signals for problems in clarity, dependability and strength.
- Maintain work schedules for employees.
- Design graphics.
- Direct and record video and audio.
Broadcast Technicians Tools and Technology
Tools and technology are at the fore front of a broadcast technician’s job. For recording, you are responsible for setting up microphones, video and audio recorders, lights and other elements to produce quality recordings. Switch boards, computers and transmission gauges are used to control and air content. When the job makes you travel, you’ll need to know how to operate portable field transmission equipment to broadcast away from the studio. Much of this equipment requires the use of software, which you need to know how to use. Some of the programs you will be required to work with include editing, recording, photo imaging and database software. With it, you will design programs and functions, record and maintain logs and analyze relevant data.
Education and Training for Broadcast Technicians
A high school diploma has been enough for quite a few employees to land jobs as broadcast technicians, but most have at least an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in communications or broadcasting areas. Courses or degrees in audiovisual technologies or radio and television technologies are helpful in this field, as well. You do usually receive training on the job, but it is only short-term, so you’ll need to have a general understanding of the broadcasting field before you start.
Broadcast Technicians Salary
The salary you can expect to receive as a broadcast technician can depend on location as much as experience and training. The lowest 10% of earners average almost $9 an hour. The median wage is $17 an hour, and the top 10% makes approximately $36 an hour. Some areas, such as Washington D.C., Maryland and New York, pay much higher rates into the $40 and $50 an hour range.
Broadcast Technicians Jobs by Geography
Broadcast technicians make up almost 40,000 positions in the nation, with an expected growth rate of 3%. Approximately 800 jobs open up each year, and the states with the most jobs will usually have the most openings available. California and New York lead with about 5,000 jobs per state. Florida, Texas and Virginia follow, with jobs in the thousands. The number of jobs available in a state is a great way to determine where you might be more likely to find employment.